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Sep 10, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

All Google services set to be accessible via fingerprint

Google is progressively fitting its apps and platforms with a new security system that is destined in the long term to replace passwords across all of its services, using biometrics to check identities via fingerprints. It is however not yet available on all mobile devices.

This August, Google made it possible to access its various mobile sites and platforms using the fingerprint sensor on smartphones. The system was originally designed to unblock devices, but it could now be used to simplify navigation and save the time it takes to type in a password, French website FrAndroid reports. It is available on Pixel telephones and those which use Android version 7 or later, the 9 to 5 Google website adds. Smartphones must be fitted with a biometric reader, and users have to get the latest updates of Google apps to use this innovation.


FIDO 2 currently being rolled out


The functionality is based on FIDO 2, an on-line security protocol which uses the biometric technology found in smartphones and which has been compatible with Android since February of this year.

Biometric securisation is however not yet available on Google sites, but in time the Mountain View-based tech giant hopes that its users will no longer have to resort to traditional passwords to prove their identities, and is thus gradually rolling out FIDO 2 onto its platforms and tools.


Replacing passwords


"As we adopt FIDO 2 as standard, you will start to discover more and more places where alternatives to passwords are accepted as an authentication mechanism for Google and Google cloud services," the company explained. One of the first applications to benefit from the system was the password management system.

The ultimate aim is to be able to use the method of unblocking mobile devices to secure browsing. As well as fingerprints, PIN codes can also replace passwords, while facial recognition could be another possibility in the future, provided that the smartphones in question are fitted with this functionality.


Secure process according to Google


"The benefits of this biometric technology are now available for the first time on the web," Google was proud to announce, whilst at the same time reassuring sceptics that users’ fingerprints will never be transmitted to servers, which merely receive confirmation that the print corresponds to the original.


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